Kenna Mayer, one of the grittiest athletes on the Carpinteria High girls softball and soccer teams, also cleans up well enough to have earned the Warriors’ Scholar-Athlete of the Year Award.
“Her uniform is easily the one with the most grass and mud stains after each match,” girls soccer coach Charles Bryant said. “And after our home games, she has always had the same routine as she helps clean up, offers to take any equipment to the shed and then quickly dashes home to shower and get her cheerleading uniform on, return to campus to cheer on either the boys or girls basketball teams.
“Kenna’s time management, and doing so amazingly well academically while balancing and juggling multiple athletics, is astounding.”
Mayer has managed it well enough to compile a grade-point average of 4.06. Her course load has included Advanced Placement calculus and honors English, as well as a college dual-enrollment class in criminal justice. She plans to study forensic psychology in college.
“Kenna is a leader on campus as she carries a 4.06 GPA through a rigorous course load while always supporting fellow students and teachers,” athletic director Pat Cooney said. “Kenna Mayer personifies Warrior Spirit.”
She received her scholar-athlete award from the Santa Barbara Athletic Round Table in a virtual ceremony conducted on its web site, sbart.org. Its weekly press luncheons have been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mayer received All-Citrus Coast League honorable mention in softball as a sophomore in 2019. Her junior season last year was canceled by the outbreak of the coronavirus.
She also received honorable mention on the All-Citrus Coast girls soccer team as a junior. She made the varsity team as a freshman and has twice earned the team’s most improved award.
“Kenna is one of those kids that is so humble, she never brags about these things,” said Lucy Carleton, an assistant soccer coach and teacher at Carpinteria High. “She is not a prima donna on the field or in the classroom. She’s just so down to earth.”
Mayer, who considers Carleton to be “one of my best friends,” credits her coaches and teachers for helping her juggle so many balls at the high school.
“If I had so much homework to do, or I had to miss a game or practice because of one thing or another, they understand that academics come first, for sure,” she said. “They wouldn’t punish me for missing practice because I had to go to work or if I had a family problem or something else I had to deal with.
“Everyone is super-understanding and that really helps, because it relieves a lot of stress that I have and a lot of other players have.”
She said the friendly support system has been a major factor in her 4.0-plus GPA.
“I was friends with the teachers and coaches, and that made me want to work extra hard in my academics,” Mayer said. “I’m just glad that we have such a good community at our high school … And parents and family that are really supportive.”
Mayer’s leadership skills have led to her selection as captain of both the softball and cheer squads at Carpinteria.
“Kenna is the ideal role model for her peers, both on and off the field,” softball coach Dakotah Wilcox said. “She teaches skills to newcomers with patience and poise and practices those skills with passion and grit.
“When I think of the epitome of what athletics means to a small community like Carpinteria, I think of Kenna and her family. She and her family are deeply rooted in the sports community.”
Her brother, Chase Mayer, was voted Citrus Coast League Pitcher of the Year for baseball in 2019. Kenna, who grew up as a star in the Carpinteria Valley Girls Softball Association, also played baseball in the Santa Barbara Pony League as a sixth- and seventh-grader, and even made the all-star team one season.
Mayer now volunteers for both the youth softball league and Carpinteria AYSO.
“Kenna puts her heart into every sport she participates in,” Wilcox said. “It is an honor to be her softball coach year after year and cannot wait to see where her athleticism takes her.”